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J Affect Disord. 2015 Mar 15;174:424-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.12.012. Epub 2014 Dec 13.

Trajectories of maternal depression and offspring psychopathology at 6 years: 2004 Pelotas cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil; Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil. Electronic address: amatija@yahoo.com.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
3
School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK; Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
4
Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil.
5
Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil; Post-Graduate Program in Health and Behavior, Catholic University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few studies have addressed the course and severity of maternal depression and its effects on child psychiatric disorders from a longitudinal perspective. This study aimed to identify longitudinal patterns of maternal depression and to evaluate whether distinct depression trajectories predict particular psychiatric disorders in offspring.

METHODS:

Cohort of 4231 births followed-up in the city of Pelotas, Brazil. Maternal depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 3, 12, 24 and 48 months and 6 years after delivery. Psychiatric disorders in 6-year-old children were evaluated through the development and well-being assessment (DAWBA) instrument. Trajectories of maternal depression were calculated using a group-based modelling approach.

RESULTS:

We identified five trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms: a "low" trajectory (34.8%), a "moderate low" (40.9%), a "increasing" (9.0%), a "decreasing" (9.9%), and a "high-chronic" trajectory (5.4%). The probability of children having any psychiatric disorder, as well as both internalizing and externalizing problems, increased as we moved from the "low" to the "high-chronic" trajectory. These differences were not explained by maternal and child characteristics examined in multivariate analyses.

LIMITATIONS:

Data on maternal depression at 3-months was available on only a sub-sample. In addition, we had to rely on maternal report of child's behavior alone.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study revealed an additive effect on child outcome of maternal depression over time. We identified a group of mothers with chronic and severe symptoms of depression throughout the first six years of the child life and for this group child psychiatric outcome was particularly compromised.

KEYWORDS:

Children; Cohort study; Development and well-being assessment; Group-based modelling; Maternal postnatal depression; Mental health

PMID:
25553403
PMCID:
PMC4351190
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2014.12.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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